Like millions of other people, I am a fan and a user of Amazon. They do make buying things convenient, especially little things that you might have to go to art specialty stores to find. I’m a huge user of the Kindle app on my iPad, especially since I learned that I do not technically own the books I buy from the Apple bookstore. If I ever wanted to migrate away from an Apple product, I could not take my books that I purchased on Apple to a competing platform.
Not only can I do that with the Kindle app, I can highlight and make notes in the books, and they show up on my Amazon Kindle page, where presumably they will reside forever, so that in 20 years I can go back and review what I thought was important about a particular book. If I could do that for every book I’ve read in the last 50 years, I would be dangerous.
I will admit that I don’t quite understand the Amazon business model of growth over profits, but I have noticed that most of the profits Amazon actually makes are coming from their noncommercial side – stuff like cloud services. Be that as it may, there is a semi-dark side to Amazon. They are slowly but surely eating retail jobs.
Now, to be fair, Amazon represents only a small portion of US retail sales, but it accounts for an outsized portion of the growth in retail sales. And, again to be fair, Amazon does not do even a majority of online sales, since other online retailers are just as aggressively pushing their own products.
This post was published at Mauldin Economics on DECEMBER 6, 2017.